She Was There. He Was Beside Her.

She was there. He was beside her. Side by side in their wheelchairs pushed up close to the edge of the pond at Centennial park. I took a second look as I ran past them on my late night run underneath the moon. It was a strange sight- especially with it being so very late.....but stranger still was the fact that they were Fishing. Yes, Fishing. Poles in hand - side by side. Catching anything? Nope. Let's be honest, if they were to get a bite, the fish would be pulling THEM in : ) So what were they doing? What in the world were they doing there at 9 p.m. at night in their wheelchairs and their fishing poles?

Being with each other. Just being with each other.

Companions. Friends. Partners. Fishing Buddies.

I have been in thought lately about love: What is it? How do you sustain it? What is the "secret?" I have learned that maybe the secret is not merely to love - but it is to LEARN to love WELL. I think that amazing relationships come when women learn to love and understand men well, and men learn to love and understand women well and when we all do so in the image of the author and perfecter of love......which basically means that true love in its purest form is a golden opportunity to die to self, swallow pride, and to give out of a place of "the sacrifice of the will". When that happens, power struggles begin to lose their grip and what is best for the relationship overrides what is desired at the moment.There is something about a marriage that gives you a unique opportunity to love in the most unselfish and sacrificial way possible. It is truly more precious to be happy than to be right.

And maybe loving isn't about finding someone who makes you feel more loved, complete, or happy. If that were true, then what happens when they stop making you feel loved, complete, or happy? Maybe God's purpose of marriage was much more about finding a partner - a teammate - to serve Him WITH instead of clinging to someone who fills you UP. Maybe it's less about looking AT the other person and looking FOR the cork. Yes, I said the cork (or bobbers for those of you not raised in the country). Stay with me.....

Those two wheelchair fishing buddies - I never saw their faces. Never heard their words. But I have kept that image in my mind, and it has spoken much wisdom to me. This is what I have heard. Watch the cork. The purpose of marriage is to find your best friend to serve with, love with, learn from, and fish with.....with the goal of looking outward to the horizon to see how God can use your coupleship to serve Him, His children, or your children. It is not to look to each other for completion or security. Maybe it's to sit beside each other on late moonlit nights, walk beside each other, run along side each other in the loudest of cheers, or sometimes to simply stay beside each other......loving.......serving.....watching the cork. Looking TOWARD His plans for you as a ministry team, instead of looking TO each other for happiness.

Being on both sides of the marriage fence, I certainly don't have all the answers. I have lived and I have learned and I have seen......an elderly couple sitting beside each other in their wheelchairs fishing under the moonlight, and somehow in this world of division - they have given me hope : )